A call to action has been made for countries and enterprises to come together and share resources for surviving in an increasingly growing digital economy.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing shared this insight during his opening address at an event on 14th August.
The conference saw over 1,000 business leaders and experts convening together to share ideas and ways of employing the latest technology for propelling business growth.
He said that it is crucial for the world to work closely with one another while remaining globally competitive to be on track with the expanding digital economy.
He explained that it is imperative for countries and enterprises to be connected and cooperatively working together to achieve the best outcomes. Fragmentation amongst them will hurt them instead as there will be a lack of knowledge exchange and stagnation of growth.
“There are many parts of the world that do not believe in integration. Instead, we risk being fragmented, being Balkanised. And if the world Balkanises, if the world fragments… we will all be poorer for it,” he said.
He said that enterprises that depend on international data flows, such as IBM, Google and PayPal, will experience blows to their businesses if the world does become fragmented.
The Singapore Digital Economy Framework for Action estimated that the digital economy will reap in an additional US$10 billion to Singapore’s GDP by 2021.
In an earlier OpenGov article, we reported of efforts taken by the Singapore government to promote digital growth amongst SMEs with its Go Digital programme.
Three pillars were identified as crucial for a strong digital economy: Digitally empowered businesses, digitally skilled workers, and digitally connected citizens.
Digitally empowered businesses employed digital solutions across various areas of businesses. Digitally skilled workers will be well-equipped with knowledge and capabilities for performing their tech roles to the best efforts. Digitally connected citizens are equipped with digital skills and adopters of technology.
Mr Chan stressed that efforts have to go a step further as to be collaborating on a global level.
He said that the creation of new business processes has to be consistently done and improvements have to be made to the current ones to ensure sustenance within the economy.
The benefits enjoyed from the past and current achievements do not act as indications for a continuation of good performance in the growing digital economy.
In fact, neither do they promise future successes.
He said that just like how tech and innovation products are constantly changing, countries and enterprises must constantly be upgrading with trends and practices of the world to move steadily along with the flow of the economy.
“That is the same lesson for Singapore. For us to continue to survive and thrive, we will have to be on our toes to continuously integrate with the rest of the world, because what we have today came from the past, and the past is not a promise of the future,” he said.